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sack lunch

May 25th, 2009 9:10 AM by Lehel Szucs

Subject: FW: sack lunch


I put my carry-on in the luggage compartment and sat down
in my assigned seat. It was going to be a long flight.
'I'm glad I have a good book to read. Perhaps I will
get a short nap,' I thought.

Just before take-off, a line of soldiers came down the
aisle and filled all the vacant seats, totally surrounding
me. I decided to start a conversation.. 'Where are
you headed?' I asked the soldier seated nearest to me.
'Petawawa. We'll be there for two weeks for special
training, and then we're being deployed to Afghanistan

After flying for about an hour, an announcement was made
that sack lunches were available for five dollars. It
would be several hours before we reached the east, and I
quickly decided a lunch would help pass the time.

As I reached for my wallet, I overheard soldier ask his
buddy if he planned to buy lunch.

'No, that seems like a lot of money for just a sack
lunch. Probably wouldn't be worth five bucks. I'll
wait till we get to base'

His friend agreed.

I looked around at the other soldiers. None were buying
lunch. I walked to the back of the plane and handed the
flight attendant a fifty dollar bill. 'Take a lunch to
all those soldiers.' She grabbed my arms and squeezed
tightly. Her eyes wet with tears, she thanked me. 'My
son was a soldier in Iraq ; it's almost like you are
doing it for him.'

Picking up ten sacks, she headed up the aisle to where the
soldiers were seated. She stopped at my seat and asked,
'Which do you like best - beef or chicken?'

'Chicken,' I replied, wondering why she asked.
She turned and went to the front of plane, returning a
minute later with a dinner plate from first class.
'This is your thanks.'

After we finished eating, I went again to the back of the
plane, heading for the rest room. A man stopped me.
'I saw what you did. I want to be part of it. Here,
take this.' He handed me twenty-five dollars.

Soon after I returned to my seat, I saw the Flight Captain
coming down the aisle, looking at the aisle numbers as he
walked, I hoped he was not looking for me, but noticed he
was looking at the numbers only on my side of the plane.
When he got to my row he stopped, smiled, held out his hand,
an said, 'I want to shake your hand.'

Quickly unfastening my seatbelt I stood and took the
Captain's hand. With a booming voice he said, 'I was
a soldier and I was a military pilot. Once, someone bought
me a lunch. It was an act of kindness I never
forgot.' I was embarrassed when applause was heard
from all of the passengers.

Later I walked to the front of the plane so I could stretch
my legs. A man who was seated about six rows in front of me
reached out his hand, wanting to shake mine. He left
another twenty-five dollars in my palm.

When we landed I gathered my belongings and started to
deplane. Waiting just inside the airplane door was a man who
stopped me, put something in my shirt pocket, turned, and
walked away without saying a word. Another twenty-five
dollars!

Upon entering the terminal, I saw the soldiers gathering
for their trip to the base. I walked over to them and
handed them seventy-five dollars. 'It will take you some
time to reach the base. It will be about time for a
sandwich. God Bless You.'

Ten young men left that flight feeling the love and respect
of their fellow travelers. As I walked briskly to my car,
I whispered a prayer for their safe return. These soldiers
were giving their all for our country. I could only give
them a couple of meals.

It seemed so little...

A veteran is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a
blank check made payable to ' United States of
America ' for an amount of 'up to and including my
life.'

That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this
country who no longer understand it.'

May God give you the strength and courage to pass this
along to friends on your email buddy list....

 

Semper Fidelis

Posted in:General
Posted by Lehel Szucs on May 25th, 2009 9:10 AM

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